Compositing for Visual Effects (Evening - 20 weeks)

Course details


Live online

Start date

20th February 2024

Application deadline

16th February 2024


20 weeks

Mode of study

Part time (Tuesday and Thursday evenings: 7pm-10pm)



Thirs place Rookies award icon for production excellence in visual effectsTop 10 Rookies award for creative schools in the UK

Course overview

Compositors, also known as Finishing Artists, are the masters of make-believe, responsible for creating the illusion of reality. They compose the final image in a VFX or motion picture sequence, creating VFX that make the impossible, possible! Without them, we’d all be looking at the wires that support actors during action sequences, or shots lacking in atmosphere or composition. It is a Compositor’s role to make a shot look believable. You’ll need an artist’s keen trained eye for photo-realistic details to always create exceptional imagery.  

This intensive evening course will teach you the fundamentals of compositing, from understanding the VFX pipeline, to mastering rotoscoping and integrating the final shot. 

This course is popular with students who need to manage study around work or family commitments. You’ll be hands-on in the studio two evenings per week. You'll be taught by a tutor who has worked, or is currently working in the industry, so they can share their real-world tips and techniques and help you connect with studios. 

The course follows the same principles as our full-time 12-week course. You’ll gain sought-after VFX production skills, through industry-recognised Nuke training. We cover everything you need to start working on your showreel and in the final weeks, you’ll work on a project that brings all the techniques together. 

See also MA Visual Effects Production (Compositing), Compositing for Visual Effects (12 weeks) or Advanced Compositing for Visual Effects (18 weeks) 

See more student work

Why choose this course

  • Ranked 2nd in the UK - and 10th in the world for Visual Effects Excellence by The Rookies 

  • Based in London - home to some of the best visual effects studios in the world

  • Industry briefs - work on industry-standard briefs and experience real-life scenarios, just like in a professional studio 

  • Professional input - our advisory board of experts, from the likes of DNEG (Avengers: Endgame and Oscar-winning Dune) and MPC (The Lion King and 1917), help keep this course relevant

  • Successful alumni - join our community of thousands of Escapees, many of whom have gone on to work at some of the world’s top studios. 47 Escapees worked on Avengers: Endgame, 36 on No Time to Die and 16 on Stranger Things

  • Aftercare package - we'll help you polish your showreel and find the right job, with access to our studios and showreel clinics for 12 months

  • Industry-standard facilities - study in a studio environment that mirrors current industry practice, using professional software such as Nuke and Silhouette 

  • Fast-track learning - studying a short course allows you to learn new skills quickly, in a fast-paced environment, so you can start applying for jobs as soon as you’ve completed the programme 

  • Intensive training - we pack a lot into a few evening classes, and we recommend that you work outside of classes for an extra few hours per week to complete your assignments 

  • Flexibility - study live online and in the evening to fit the course around your professional and personal life and other commitments 

  • Strong portfolio - along with an Escape Studios Certificate of Completion, you'll leave with strong creative and technical skills and great pieces for your portfolio 

  • Small class sizes - a convivial environment allows students to assist and inspire one another and benefit from personalised feedback from tutors.

Course modules

  • The VFX pipeline 

  • The Nuke interface 

  • Project settings and formats

  • Read and write nodes

  • Pre-multiplied images 

  • Image and channel blending 

  • Generating masks, alphas and mattes

  • Understanding tracking and stabilising 

  • Curve editor 

  • Multi-point tracking

  • Corner pinning 

  • Planar tracking

  • Roto and tracking 

  • Rotoshape breakup

  • Human motion vs objects

  • Silhouette rotoscoping (SFX) 

  • Tracking in SFX 

  • Working with motion blur

  • Project: roto a shot in SFX

  • Painting in Nuke 

  • Marker removal procedures 

  • Generating clean plates

  • Film grain management 

  • Warping and morphing 

  • Retiming techniques

  • SFX paint cleanup 

  • Wire removal painting

  • Luma keying and the keyer node 

  • Primatte keying

  • Compositing outside the keyer

  • Colour difference keying: keylight node 

  • Nuke’s IBK keyer 

  • Pre and post processing: refining the matte

  • The despill process 

  • Keying motion blur 

  • Edge treatment and luminance

  • Colour management and LUTs 

  • Float and linear light workflow 

  • Density and colour matching 

  • Mastering the colour correct node

  • Primary grading: grade node 

  • Exposure, gamma and curves 

  • Depth queuing and atmospherics

  • Introduction to the 3D interface

  • Projection types and 3D displacement 

  • Projected mattes

  • Lens distortion 

  • Solving the camera

  • Utilising camera data

  • Projection cleanup workflows 

  • UV and camera projections 

  • Optimising 3D motion blur

  • Multi-channel workflow 

  • Rebuilding the beauty pass 

  • Utilities passes

  • CG grading 

  • Applying convolve filters to CG 

  • Interactions and depth of field

Final project submission 

More information

  • Nuke

To apply, complete an online application form. Our Admissions Team will get in touch to take you through the next steps.

If you have any questions about your application or our entry requirements, get in touch!

As part of the application process, you will need to agree to our terms and conditions for your place on the course to be secured.

Minimum requirements

We welcome and encourage applications from students with a variety of backgrounds, experiences and perspectives.

To study this short course, you must:

  • Be over 18

  • Have a good understanding of written and spoken English

  • Feel comfortable using a computer.

If you’d like to discuss your circumstances before applying, contact us!

Non-UK students

We accept international students for our short courses, with no difference in course fees or administration costs. 

The Standard Visitor visa allows students to come to the UK to study for a course of up to six months at an accredited institution. Depending on your nationality, you may need to apply for a standard visitor visa prior to departure from your home country. For more information visit:  

Contact us on or +44 (0)203 441 1303 for any questions.

We can provide remote access to our workstations during teaching time. Due to availability restrictions, we highly advise you to have your own set up at home to study in your own time.

More things you’ll need:

  • A strong internet connection

  • An external hard drive (minimum 2TB) to back up your work during the course

  • A three-button mouse (or optionally graphics tablet)

  • A computer microphone (and optionally a webcam)

  • Note-taking materials

If you have any questions about learning online or if you need help with what to buy, get in touch at


Live online: £3,196

Payment plans

We offer a range of payment plan options for all courses. Following an initial deposit at registration stage, your chosen payment plan will break down your remaining fees into up to six equal instalments, to be paid over the course length.

Contact us or visit our admissions page for any questions about fees, funding and payment plans.

"In compositing we have the unique pleasure of coming at the end of the pipeline. That means everything we do directly appears in the finished product on screen. That combined with the perfect balance of creative contribution to the finished product and technical problem solving, means that the scope of work is broad and no two days are ever quite the same." Chris Fryer, Digital Compositor at Industrial Light & Magic

You’ll leave with an Escape Studios Certificate of Achievement, along with strong creative and technical skills and some great pieces of work for your portfolio, which you can add to with help from our Aftercare programme. Ready to apply for jobs in the industry!

Some of the opportunities you can consider once you’ve finished your studies include: 

  • Runner

  • Prep Artist

  • Roto Artist

  • Production Assistant  

  • Production Coordinator

Compositors often start out in junior roles or as Rotoscope Artists to then rise to mid-level and senior roles such as Compositors and Compositing Supervisors, opening the path to becoming a VFX Supervisor. 

Our students have gone to work as both specialist and generalist artists in creative studios, across TV shows, films and commercials, at companies including Industrial Light & Magic, Cinesite, Pixomondo and Milk VFX. Read some of our VFX Escapee success stories.

Check out our Careers Guide for more information about career opportunities and progression routes.

We pack a lot into each class of our evening courses, to be able to offer a learning option that is more flexible and fits in with your personal and work life. This means that contact time with your tutors will be intense learning and hands on. To make the most of this course, we recommend that you spend at least 10 hours working on your projects or practising your new skills in your own time each week. 

Profile picture of Sokratis Synitos
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Meet our industry-experienced tutors

They all have industry experience and are experts in their fields. They are certified trainers for Autodesk and Houdini. They’ve worked at studios including DNEG, Framestore and Industrial Light & Magic, on credits including Fantastic Beasts, Gladiator, Kingsman and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.

Meet your tutors

Student showcase

The excitement and gratification of producing the end result is an exhilarating position and creative career to grow into.

Davi Stein
Technical Trainer at Industrial Light & Magic